Kentucky Court of Justice
Chief Justice Minton releases legal opinion on bonding required for Kentucky court facilities construction program

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 25, 2009  
Contact Information:  Leigh Anne Hiatt, APR
Public Information Officer
502-573-2350, Cell 859-619-7916

Opinion Letter on Kentucky Court Facilities Construction Program

Geisen Opinion Letter 3-19-09.pdf

Table of Bonding Status of Current Projects

Construction Project Table 3-24-09.pdf

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. made public today a legal opinion regarding bonding requirements for Kentucky court facilities construction projects. The opinion is the result of the chief justice's call for a comprehensive review of bonding requirements in light of recent questions about inadequate bonding practices.

Chief Justice Minton announced March 4, 2009, that he had retained construction law attorney William G. Geisen to determine whether current court facilities construction projects were appropriately bonded.

"Mr. Geisen conducted a thorough and unbiased review of current bonding practices on our courthouse projects and found that the Administrative Office of the Courts has allowed certain construction managers to furnish Performance and Payment Bonds that are legally insufficient," Chief Justice Minton said. "Mr. Geisen's opinion letter indicates that we must take immediate action to rectify inadequate compliance with our Administrative Procedures. I will be asking the county judge-executives to require the construction managers on their projects to immediately furnish a Performance and Payment Bond equivalent to 100 percent of the Contract Sum, with the Owner as Obligee.

"The AOC has determined that certain construction managers submitted inadequate bonding in an untimely fashion," Chief Justice Minton said. "Many were submitted in the last two months and only after receiving public record requests regarding bonding information. I am deeply committed to restoring the integrity of our construction program. The next step is for Mr. Geisen to determine how this opinion will affect current and future court facilities construction projects and to provide legal advice on how to implement his findings."

Mr. Geisen has been affiliated with Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP, based in Cincinnati, since 1995. He currently serves as chairperson of the firm's Construction Industry Group. He works out of Graydon Head's Fort Mitchell, Ky., office and is licensed in both Kentucky and Ohio. During his 26-year legal career, Mr. Geisen has represented contractors, subcontractors, bonding companies, owners and design professionals in litigation, arbitration, dispute resolution and contract negotiation. He is active in several construction industry organizations and is a frequent lecturer, both regionally and nationally, on construction law related topics. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law.

As the administrative and fiscal agent for the Judicial Branch of state government, the AOC provides oversight and administration of court facilities in accordance with House Bill 734, which was passed by the 2000 General Assembly. The AOC also supports the activities of 4,000 court system employees, including the elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks.